ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

How to clean junk from Mac hard drive?

Updated on December 22, 2014

Exploring Grey areas of hard drive

Do you really care about junk files on OS X Mac hard drive? Perhaps, you are unaware of those grey regions where Mac accumulates huge amount of junk files, duplicate files and unwanted apps. We know, for every crash report, a log file is created on the hard drive, similarly caches are created for every browsing activity. Not to forget that, ‘Trash’ is the place where all unwanted items are temporarily placed. And yeah, all downloads from the website goes into ‘Download’ folder on OS X startup drive.

Trash - Start with TRASH folder on the Dock. If you have neglected to ‘Empty the Trash’ and keep on sending files to it, then imagine the size of trash as of now. Don’t be surprised if the trash size has gone to few Gbs in size. Also, don’t forget that Trash is part of OS X. The larger its size, more drive spaces are gone accumulating files to it. To know the size of cluttered trash, simply launch the trash folder and click ‘Command + I’. This will let you know the amount of size of the trash in real-time. Also, to view size of each file on trash folder, click Command + Option + I to view of individual files. Do not forget to empty trash.

Download - OS X startup drive also incorporates ‘Download folder’ on its drive structure. Dozens of files are downloaded on daily basis, either from webmail or some websites. These files could be of different sizes and thus easily clutter the Download folder. In order to clean the clutter, first apply same key combination to know the size of the Download folder. If the files on the folder are unnecessary then don’t forget to trash them. Also, ensure, you empty the trash folder. Doing this couple of activity will release couple of GBs of spaces for the hard drive.

Caches – Data to be accessed by the OS X is stored in Caches. In Mac, cache folder is situated in Root Directory<<Library<<Caches. These caches hold vital information such as extensions, icons and metadata of other files. It helps OS X access information quickly. However, it is not rare when some of the cache files get corrupt. These corrupt cache information can create conflicts with other software, which can also result in abrupt shutdown of the software. To maintain & delete the caches, follow below helpful steps:

  • Launch Finder and click Macintosh HD.
  • Double-Click: Library folder<<Caches
  • From Edit menu, click ‘Select All
  • Drag all folders to trash. Alternatively, select folders manually and press ‘Command + Delete’ to send items to trash.
  • Empty the trash folder.
  • Restart Mac

Now, the question arises if cleaning caches can slow down the processes on Mac? Well, in the beginning, the application will surely look for its associated caches. Once the cache is not located, it will recreate it and will run smoother than before. Moreover, the hard drive spaces are also refreshed once huge amount of useless cache data is deleted.

Application folder – Launch Finder and go to ‘Application’ folder. DMGs can be installed on any locations, however .PKG files will automatically be installed in this folder. Now, there might be some completely unwanted apps, which you wouldn’t allow to occupy hard drive spaces. Drag these apps to Trash folder. Coming to the leftovers, most of the application folders will be removed through traditional ‘drag-n-drop’ method. However, some stubborn applications may leave behind their leftovers.

As all other junk files, duplicate files are created randomly on any location. Most of them will be created at the user’s end. iTunes, iPhoto duplicates are created on number of occasions. These replicated files are totally illegitimate and need not require staying on the startup drive. Best solution would be to run a duplicate file remover software.


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • Viss profile imageAUTHOR

      Vishal Chaudhary 

      3 years ago from New Delhi, India

      You should focus on gathering some quick tips which will help you adopt the OS X environment. Just like any other OS, Macs are friendly. You need to put little time to learn it. It's a whole new experience. I am happy I work on both Windows 8 laptop and my Mac Mini.

    • Peter Oscars profile image

      Peter Oscars 

      3 years ago

      Stellar Speedup Mac seems to be genuine app for removing junk files from Macintosh HD. I tried free version of speedup Mac software and removed almost 1.5 GB from the drive. Overall it showed me 6+ GB of junk files.

    • georgescifo profile image


      3 years ago from India

      We have a Mac system at our office and most of us are not comfortable working with that. We are all in the learning process and this hub will prove beneficial for us in the long run.


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)